Sunday, March 25, 2007

Musical weekend

I had the opportunity to go for an INTERNATIONAL series on premium tickets at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) during the week (thank you PL). We had Renée Fleming on soprano and Hartmut Höll on piano. Hartmut wasn't exactly spectacular but thank goodness he wasn't over-expressive like Lang Lang either. Then again, he was on accompaniment only, so soprano still reigned on stage. Renée entertained us with 3 classics for an encore - superb performance, all sang in German except for Somewhere Over The Rainbow in English! Brava!

Over the weekend, I visited Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) for the first time to watch Mozart's The Magic Flute. Orchestra by the KLPac Sinfonietta, directed by Dato' Faridah Merican with her husband, Joe Hasham as the lively, humourous narrater. I was slightly disappointed with the half stage and minimal acting as I did expect a little more stage work, so it was a little visually unstimulating for me. Also, it would have been a lot better if Prince Tamino, Papageno and Sarastro were to be dressed to the theme of The Magic Flute. Dressed in suits wasn't exactly what I expected. I have a lot more to comment on but I think I'd applaud for the good efforts instead, in support of local productions. I even had the privilege to go backstage to meet music director Chong Kok Ting and conductor Brian Tan. What a pleasure!

Next, it was back to the MPO, full chamber under the LEGACY series with Munich-born Viviane Hagner on the violin conducted by Matthias Bamert on BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto in D (Op.61) with 3 movements. A very happy tune, I'd say. Glorious performance by Viviane who plays on the Sasserno Stradivarius (1717)! Rare piece loaned to her by the Nippon Music Foundation. Applause! Applause!

As for BRAHMS Symphony No.4 in E minor (Op.98) with 4 movements, I found it slightly heavy but powerful. If you've got good ears for music, you will notice that the first 8 bars of Brahms in the 4th movement is repetitive 31 times over different instruments. I gave up counting because the improvisation was so good I couldn't tell the repeats anymore after the winds.

Another privilege I had too: Upclose and dinner with MPO's (Co-Principal) Oboist, Joost Flach (pronounced Yeos) - friend of a friend. Simply cool! No photo though. My Cybershot Sony Ericsson has failed on me since last week. I'm now handicapped without much blog pics to showcase until I get it fixed or get a new phone.

"You have a lot of music to bring home to, this weekend," said a friend as I was leaving the hall.

"Indeed. It's still ringing in my ears," I managed with a smile.

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i've always wanted to visit mpo since long time ago.. lucky you, must be really great to be there!
MeiyeN | Homepage | 27.03.07 - 5:04 pm | #


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